Pottery at Plymouth: What the Staff Are Making

We’re currently hosting an exhibition of work by the staff of Plymouth College of Art, called ‘Plymouth in Practice’, in our Cube Gallery. This show ends on 12 March, so I thought I’d share more of it with you in case you can’t make to St Ives.

The works are by staff teaching ceramics on the College’s BA (Hons) Ceramics & Glass and BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts programmes. This includes Chris Taylor, Dan Chapple, Kim Bagley, Jason Marks and Maria Psiliagkou. I always think it’s fascinating to see into the thinking and practice behind the people who teach and inspire new generations of ceramicists. Below is a selection from some of these makers.

Maria Psiliagkou

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Maria has been producing ceramics for over 20 years and working as a tutor and technician since 2002. In her 3D landscapes, Maria investigates how personal experiences and memory are tied to a place and related to specific landscapes. She uses photography to record visual images from travels in Greece, where she grew up, and the UK where she now lives. The time each image is taken is crucial: it’s recorded alongside the events that are taking place at the time, or the news she hears on the radio, while Maria is traveling. These images and notes are then translated into three dimensional landscapes.

Jason Marks

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Jason is a ceramic designer exploring the links between the crafted object and the possibilities of 3D printing and other technologies. He is passionate about ceramic materials and strives, through the use of technology, to produce new forms and appropriate motifs for the 21st century. Gothic Rollers takes patterns found on the floors of ecclesiastical buildings and rolls them up: Jason is exploring his interest in traditional tile making in combination with digital design and manufacturing technologies. New connections emerge when a design intended for two dimensions is distorted and folded into three dimensional space.

Chris Taylor

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In recent years Chris has won several awards for his work and exhibits across the UK in a variety of galleries and live events. He says:

I’m excited to be exhibiting at the Leach Pottery and this is a great opportunity for staff and students of the College alike. Seeing the different pieces of work side by side should give an idea of the breadth of different approaches from artists at the College. Thinking of my own work, I consider myself to be a ceramic designer making individual pieces of art, in clay, that celebrate the qualities of the materials and the art of ceramics. I use a lot of printing and painting processes as surface decoration, using traditional processes in new ways and introducing some methods that aren’t traditionally associated with ceramics.

It is interesting how Chris describes his processes, especially his use of print and colour:

By using underglaze printing processes to build layers of colour and print before I fire the work, it gives an impression that the piece has been decorated and redecorated, creating a sense of history. I make items that you’d associate with everyday domestic environments, such as vases, then layer and disrupt the surface decoration, sometimes chipping off the glaze or using other erosive processes to reveal what came before.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this bite-sized insight – please post your comments and thoughts below 🙂

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